“Step off the plane in any direction and you could fall into France.”
A friend of mine casually said this to me when I mentioned my upcoming trip. Turns out, he was spot on. Geneva is an eclectic smorgasbord of culture, food and history located in a part of Switzerland that is almost completely surrounded by France (minus the lake).
A fantastic destination in it’s own right, many also love the fact that you can bike for a few minutes and be in another country, making it a great option for those short on time. But in a city with over 141 properties to choose from, where should you stay?
Nestled along the shore of le lac Léman, Le Richemond is primely situated at the very heart of Geneva and has become an iconic staple since opening its doors in 1875.
Having stayed here for a few nights recently, my absolute favorite part was it’s location. Within a stone’s throw of a Mouette ferry boat stop, Brunswick monument, cafes and shopping, 109 beautifully decorated rooms and spacious suites offer spectacular views of the lake and spectacular views of the lake and the much beloved Jet d’Eau. A short walk from it’s front doors landed me just about anywhere I wanted to go, whether it be to spend all my monies on a new purse or quell the after dinner munchies I’m so prone to getting while traveling. It’s this ideal position within the city that makes Le Richemond the perfect home base for a weekend, or even a week, exploring all that Geneva has to offer.
Decorated in a contemporary aesthetic with pops of jewel tones in blue, purple and red, many of Le Richemond’s rooms feature King beds with marble bathrooms, ample lounge areas, comfortable desk space, and my favorite, tall windows and french doors leading to private balconies (or terraces for the suites), inviting you take in Geneva in all it’s beauty. It was these views that I couldn’t help but treat myself to at breakfast on my terrace each morning. I loved being able to people watch as I sipped my coffee!
In addition to it’s incredible views, Le Richemond is set apart as having the only Sisley Spa in Switzerland. I didn’t get a chance to try it for myself (super sad face), but it’s face and body treatments are said to be based on aromacology – the science of relaxing body and mind through the use of fragrance. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Begin your treatment with a massage or facial using essential oils as part of the aromacology concept and then cap it off in the sauna or steam room before settling into a recliner to sip on herbal tea. Ahhhh. Your body will thank you after long days of
shopping exploring Geneva by foot, my recommended method of wandering in this city. The spa also features a state-of-the-art fitness room complete with TechnoGym equipment thats open til 10pm, which is perfect since I always seem to feel the guiltiest after dinner.
Le Richemond does one of a kind really well, from its views to its spa and even it’s restaurants. Listed in the prestigious Gault & Millau guide, the resident restaurant Le Jardin, specializes in simple cuisine created to perfection. As any foodie knows, the best food is prepared seasonally and Le Jardin proudly features a seasonal menu utilizing fresh and local Swiss ingredients. Chef Philippe Bourrel’s menu also includes classics such as perch from Lac Léman (aka Lake Geneva) and beef tartare in addition to his seasonal dishes.
For lunch, the restaurant also offers the “Menu du Jardin”, on Tuesday through Friday, with a two-course meal served within 30 minutes – perfect for ravenous travelers.
Le Jardin would be remiss if it didn’t take advantage of the quality vineyards surrounding Geneva and throughout Switzerland. Head sommelier, Marco Stigliani created a wine lists featuring such wines that reflect the local growers and pair perfectly with Chef Philippe’s seasonal menu.
Le Richemond has been a feature of life in Geneva since 1875 when Adolphe-Rodolphe Armleder rented the Pension Le-Riche-Mont and opened an up-market ‘guest house’ with 25 rooms. Its reputation for excellent service and style grew and, as well-to-do English and American travelers became more adventurous and began to visit Europe and the Alps, it became a popular destination on any great European ‘tour’, eventually changing its name to the Richemond Family Hotel. After World War II, the Le Richemond began to expand in both size and clientele. In fact, it’s played host to some of Geneva’s most famous visitors. Perhaps you recognize the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Clark Gable, Sophia Loren, Michael Jackson and Sir Elton John?
I’m so thankful for having had the opportunity to experience such a fabulous 5 star luxury resort, courtesy of Visit Geneva Tourism. Both the city and this hotel holds a very special place in my travel heart and have sincerely earned my highest of recommendations.